Monday 16 April 2007


On Friday we went to seen Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Mayerling at the Royal Opera House. Its a work I've been fond of (if that's the right word, given the subject matter) since seeing it during its first run, with David Wall as Prince Rudolph. Since then I've seen artists as varied as Irek Mukhamedov and Adam Cooper in the role. On Friday it was the turn of Carlos Acosta, with Leanne Benjamin as his mistress with whom he commits suicide in a powerful final pas de deux.

Much was written in the press about how the role did not really suite Acosta's personality. And that neither he nor Benjamin were ideally cast. Perhaps so, but I think that we will not see their final pas de deux danced so supremely well. They way she flung herself at him in those amazing flying leaps was astounding. MacMillan's choreography can often seem overly contrived, if the participants do not have it in their bones (or muscles). Here it seemed perfectly aposite.

Now, I want to see Edward Watson in the role, having read the reviews of his debut last week.

Regarding the music to the ballet, John Lanchberry's assemblage of Liszt pieces is masterly, but there are times when I feel that Liszt just does not create the right decadent atmosphere for the Austro-Hungarian court. An Lanchberry seems to have been very sparing with the sweeping melodies, though perhaps that was what MacMillan wanted.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:24 am

    Re Mayerling (new RoyalBallet DVD)

    re: "John Lanchberry's assemblage of Liszt pieces is masterly"
    What are the Liszt pieces ?
    Can anyone supply them in Act/Scene order??
    Not easy to find on the web?


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